Mercedes are planning a coupe version of the M-Class / ML for 2015 – the Mercedes MLC – to compete with the BMW X6.
You didn’t think Mercedes could ignore the unexpected success of the BMW X6, did you? Well, they can’t, so they’re planning a coupe version of the ML for 2015 – the Mercedes MLC.
Big car news in the U.S – and jobs news, too – is that Mercedes are investing a not insignificant $2 billion in their production facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to up production of Mercedes for the North American market.
That means Mercedes C-Class production heading towards the colonies as well as kitting-out Spartanburg to deal with the next generation of the R-Class and G-Class and the recently revealed 2012 Mercedes M-Class.
But Automotive News in the US had now been told by Mercedes that there will be an extra model being built at Spartanburg – the Mercedes MLC.
In effect the MLC will be to the ML exactly what the X6 is to the X5. More a lifestyle statement than an SUV, the X6 has been a runaway success for BMW, particularly in China.
Despite its compromised accommodation with a sloping roofline and – until very recently – space for just two in the back, BMW has managed to sell twice as many X6 as they planned - and at a price premium over the X5. Which is something neither Mercedes nor Audi can ignore.
We knew Audi were planning to take on the X6 with a coupe version of the Q7 (although Audi are planning Coupe versions of all their SUVs) so it was inevitable that Mercedes would be close behind.
Expect a push upmarket from the already very well specced, ML with all the same options on the oily front as the new ML. That will mean, eventually, a Mercedes MLC63 AMG to take on the X6M.
Next step the ML Convertible? Don’t bet against it.
2012 Mercedes ML Photo Gallery
(44 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)
Source: Automotive News